Council and partners prepare for RHS Hampton Court Flower show

Published Thursday, 31st May 2018

Artist's Impression of A Place to Think by Tony Wagstaff and James Callicott

Southend-on-Sea Borough Council’s Early Help, Family Support and Youth Offending Service have begun preparations for the 2018 RHS Hampton Court Flower Show, where they will exhibit a garden for the ninth year running.

Working closely with a number of key partners – including the Council’s Dementia Community Support Team – the Youth Offending Team will be constructing the garden ‘A Place to Think’, designed by Professional Gardeners Guild trainee James Callicott, and Tony Wagstaff of the Early Help, Family Support & Youth Offending Service.

The young people involved from the Youth Offending Service complete this work as part of their community reparation, under the guidance of Mr Wagstaff. While showing drive and passion when delivering the project, they are able to work towards a City and Guild Level 1 in practical Horticulture skills, enabling them to apply their practical skills in the future.

People living with Dementia have also been able to assist with odd jobs and handiwork, such as painting, using hand tools, varnishing and more.

Sponsors involved in the project are Deepdale Trees, Instant Hedging, Stephanie Cushing Sculptures, Rolawn, Sovereign play equipment, Everedge, Dyofix, Melcourt Garden and Landscape, and 369 Marketing Ltd.

Cllr Helen Boyd, Executive Councillor for Children and Learning, said: “We are absolutely delighted that the Early Help Family Support & Youth Offending Service and the Dementia Community Support Team have teamed up to produce another beautiful garden.

“We have a fantastic history of brilliant results at the RHS Hampton Court Flower shows, and I am confident that this year will be no different. In previous years, the gardens have won four bronze awards, three silver awards, and two silver-gilt awards, which is a phenomenal achievement considering the difference in funding and manpower between the Council gardens and some others that are exhibited.

“The teams are working extremely hard to ensure the garden is constructed to the highest standards, and we must thank everyone who has helped push this project on. We will be watching on eagerly and we hope residents will get behind this wonderful project by voting online.”

Voting for the garden in the ‘People Choice’ category begins and ends throughout the duration of the show, namely Tuesday 3 July until Saturday 7 July. You can vote for ‘A Place to Think’ by visiting the RHS Hampton Court Flower Show website.

The garden

The garden is designed to offer a relaxed environment which enables students to focus and study for exams, while also providing a safe and enclosed area. The combination of warm pinks, shades of purple and cool blues creates a calming atmosphere across the garden. Contrast is created with a dark Betula nigra that adds height and structure to the garden, along with wide decking and a pathway of oak planks. Dark steel water troughs fragment the planting while a white Carrara marble sculpture draws the eye to the seating area behind.

Planting in the garden will feature eye catching Agapanthus, brightly coloured Verbena bonariensis and bold British native hedges.